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Smaller Stores Having Bigger Impact

Sprouts, Bloomie’s and BJs Wholesale Club locales illustrate the trend.

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Smaller Stores Having Bigger Impact
Rendering of a Bloomie’s by Bloomingdale’s. PHOTO: MACY’S INC.

Small-format stores, which offer consumers more convenient and localized shopping experiences, are on the rise, says a new report from retail-trends analyst Placer.ai. Titled “Small Format Stores — Sprouting, Blooming and Expanding,” the white paper notes that the trend has been gaining traction since COVID – spearheaded by major retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom, and followed by players such as IKEA, Target, Best Buy and others.

To explore what impact small-format stores have on shopper behavior, Placer.ai said it “dove into the data to explore consumer interaction with three retailers that are leaning into the small-format space: Sprouts Farmers Market, Bloomingdale’s, and BJ’s Wholesale Club.”

Here are some key brief summaries on each of those retailers’ smaller-can-be-better efforts:

  • Since January 2022, Sprout Farmers Market has driven significant visit growth by expanding its footprint through the addition of small-format locations.
  • Macy’s Bloomie’s concept is successfully attracting urban social segments – in alignment with the company’s goal of offering city dwellers a more contemporary, convenient shopping experience.
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club’s smaller-format store in Warwick, R.I. has significantly boosted customer engagement and loyalty – beating regional and nationwide chain averages for both year-over-year (YoY) visit growth and share of monthly visits.

“Retailers across categories are increasingly incorporating small format stores into their evolving store footprints – with promising results,” the report notes. “How will this trend continue to play out? And will consumer preferences continue to shift towards quick, efficient, experiential and curated shopping experiences?”

The answers to those questions will play out over time, Placer.ai concludes.

Click here for more from the study.

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